The Benefits of Adding a Deck To Your House

For those looking to upgrade their home, there are a number of ways to make it more functional year-round. Adding a beautiful outdoor deck is one of the most popular additions, working to provide a great place for hosting events with friends and spending family time outside. There are a number of great benefits associated with adding a new deck.

 

A place to host

Whether throwing a birthday party or having a summer BBQ, a deck provides additional space. It will work as a great place to host guests for a dinner party or even to have an extra place to lounge and relax during the warmer months.

 

Increases home value

Perhaps one of the best benefits of a deck is how it naturally increases the home’s value. According to experts, you can easily recoup up to 72 percent of the cost of building the deck by the amount it will raise the overall property value of your house. This exceeds what can be recouped from other home additions, including adding a living room, sunroom, or even an extra bathroom.

 

Aesthetic appeal

Adding a deck adds a high amount of design to any home, making it more visually appealing and enhancing the home’s overall quality. It can easily add dimension to any yard for an attractive property that stands out. You can stain the wood of the deck to fit into the color scheme of your shutters and the design of your house to make it look natural and appealing.

 

Extra space

Adding a deck to your property will provide extra room to store a barbecue, patio furniture, and even potted plants. If you don’t have space in your garage, you could even store your bike. A deck is a space that is easy to furnish and will free up the yard for other interests and activities.

 

Ready to build a new deck?

If you want to add a deck to your home or your existing deck is in bad shape, now is the perfect time to replace it. Contact Absolute Exteriors to get a free estimate on a new deck for your home in Ellisville, Chesterfield, Ballwin, and surrounding areas.

Check out our custom deck options. 

Reasons To Replace Your Siding In The Winter

Replacing your home’s siding in the winter may not feel like an obvious choice, but there are advantages to doing exterior home renovations in the off-season. When you have the right product and a great installation team, there are numerous benefits to replacing your siding during the winter.

 

Stop problems in their tracks

If you find problems – cracks, missing pieces, or discoloration – you need to get them assessed fast. If moisture seeps under your siding, it can cause further costly damage to your home’s exterior. Cold temperatures will also exacerbate existing issues. With a material like wood, water that permeates gaps will freeze in cold weather, expanding cracks and aggravating damage.

 

Get a convenient installation time

When companies aren’t as busy, it is easier for them to schedule your installation process for a time period that is most convenient for you. Scheduling the job far enough in advance when siding crew schedules are more flexible can help you schedule the best and most convenient install time, and in some cases, get you a discount.

 

Keep the heat inside your home

This is a great perk to getting your siding replaced during the winter months. Your investment in new siding can pay off quickly. New siding can more effectively keep heat inside, and it’s reasonable to expect your energy bills to be lower than they would be otherwise. You can still get the benefits of added insulation for part of the season when the temperature drops, which will roll over into your spring energy bills, giving you the full benefits of your new siding’s energy-saving properties.

 

Increase your home’s value and curb appeal

Not only will new siding bring about some short-term benefits, there are also long-term benefits. For instance, new quality siding will increase the overall value of your home and its curb appeal. Replacing siding is one of the best ways to improve the appearance of your home’s exterior.

 

No need to worry about landscaping

In the winter, the installation crew doesn’t need to worry about working around landscaping. Whereas in warmer months, they have to take extra precautions to ensure they do not flatten bushes or hedges around the outside of the home during the siding installation process. Clean up is also easier when workers can easily see debris on the ground that is not hidden by landscaping.

 

Kids won’t get injured

In addition, homeowners might benefit from their kids being at school during a majority of the remodeling process This means the kids won’t be around to play with or inspect the various tools, machines, and scaffolding in use as they might during the summer when they’re out of school.

 

Ready to replace your siding?

If your siding is in bad shape, now is the perfect time to replace it. Contact Absolute Exteriors to get a free estimate on new siding for your home in Ellisville, Chesterfield, Ballwin, and surrounding areas.

Also find out why it’s best to replace your roof in the winter.

How to Perform an Interior Roof Check

A quick and easy way for any homeowner to evaluate your roof’s condition is to grab a flashlight and head up to your attic. Checking for daylight, dark streaks, stains, sagging areas, leaks, and water damage will help you determine if you need a new roof.

 

Check for daylight 

Before you turn on your flashlight, check for daylight streaming through any cracks or holes in your roof. If you do spot light coming through your roof, repair or replace your roof immediately. If light is coming through your roof, so is water.

 

Dark streaks & stains

If you see dark stains or dark streaks on the underside of your roof or running down the walls from the base of your roof, then you’re roof is likely leaking and moisture is damaging both your roof and your home’s interior structure.

 

Sagging areas

In the same way that water will make a piece of cardboard soggy and weak, water can also make the structure of your roof begin to sag. If you identify sagging areas in your roof, use your hand or a broom to lightly prod at the sagging spot. If the spot feels soft and wet or bends easily with the prod of your broom, you know you have moisture damage.

 

Leaks & water damage

Make sure to look for any obvious signs of water leaking or rotting your roof on the inside. If you see any clear signs of water damage, you should contact someone to inspect your roof immediately.

 

Ready to replace your roof?

If you are experiencing any of the above issues, Absolute Exteriors can fix your roofing problem. If you’d prefer not to go into your attic, we will gladly inspect your attic and the exterior of your roof, free of charge. Contact Absolute Exteriors to get a free estimate on a new roof for your home in Ellisville, Chesterfield, Ballwin, and surrounding areas.

Also find out why winter is the best time to replace your roof.

Why Winter Is The Best Time To Replace Your Roof

Between heavy snow, ice buildups, and frigid temperatures, winter can be tough on roofs. For many homeowners, the warmer seasons are the most popular times to take care of roof maintenance, repairs, and replacements. However, choosing to undertake work on your roof during the winter can have benefits.

 

Here are a few things to consider about replacing your roof in winter.

 

Waiting for warmer weather can worsen existing problems

Have you noticed curling or cracked shingles? Are there icicles hanging from your house? Corrupted shingles can let moisture penetrate your roof, and ice buildups can be a sign that your home is losing heat. Whatever the issue, waiting until spring means taking the risk that the situation will deteriorate.

 

A new roof means better defense from the elements

A roof on its last legs is less able to stand up to harsh weather. Undertaking a roof replacement can give you peace of mind and give you the certainty that your new, sturdy roof will handle the demands of winter.

 

Enjoy favorable, seasonal pricing

For many roofers, winter is an off-peak season. Securing a quote and scheduling springtime work – whether routine repairs or a full roof replacement – a few months early can ultimately save you time and money.

 

Get a new roof faster

Fall and spring are, naturally, the most popular times to replace a roof, so if you schedule your roof replacement in winter, you’ll likely get a faster turnaround on your new roof.

 

Be ready for spring rains & home selling season

Replacing your roof in the cold season gets you ready for those spring showers and for spring showings, if you’re thinking of selling.

 

Ready to replace your roof?

If your roof is in bad shape, now is the perfect time to replace it. Contact Absolute Exteriors to get a free estimate on a new roof for your home in Ellisville, Chesterfield, Ballwin, and surrounding areas.

Also check out reasons to replace your siding in the winter.

Why You Should Replace Your Home’s Windows

Most people consider replacing their windows when their old ones have become a hassle to operate or maintain. If you’re fed up with fighting windows that stick and jam, or you’ve had it with chilly drafts sweeping through your home in the middle of winter, new windows can help you enjoy your home again, as well as take pride in its appearance.

 

Here are some reasons why you should upgrade your windows now.

 

Replacement can be the easier option

When a window cracks or the frame warps, some homeowners will tape up the damage or stop using the window. Although you might still have a technically functioning window after a quick fix, it isn’t necessarily working the way it should. Cracks and warps can cause drafts or let in moisture, even if you do your best to seal the gaps.

 

Windows do not need to be purchased in full sets. Replacing one broken window in your home doesn’t mean that you have to replace them all. Stop dealing with the frustration of broken glass or windows that can’t be opened.

 

Save money

If windows aren’t broken, homeowners may choose to wait to upgrade their windows in order to save money on materials and installation. However, you’re already spending more money on energy bills with old windows that allow drafts. If you find that it’s difficult to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, your windows might be forcing you to keep central heating or AC on for longer than you need it. This adds a lot of wear and tear to your heating/cooling system as well.

 

Improved security

After years of wear and tear, windows degrade like anything else. The latches can rust over time or become stripped and easy to break through. Intruders are able to recognize older windows and are more likely to target them because they are easy to break into. New windows have extra secure latches and are often sealed more tightly than older windows. Sealants loosen over time, frames warp, etc. New windows mean a more secure home overall.

 

Great for resale

If you’re selling your home, trading outdated windows for new ones can greatly increase the value of your home. With viewings, it’s all about first impressions, and buyers are always looking at windows, whether they realize it or not. If you’ve already upgraded the windows, buyers will see that as one less thing they have to do after purchasing the home. Attractive windows also enhance a home’s curb appeal, and a unique fixture like a bay window or picture windows can be a major selling point.

 

Regulations & health safety

Most modern windows are vinyl and come in a variety of finishes. According to consumer reports, “Lead-based paint was banned after 1978 and is especially common in homes built prior to 1960. Single-­pane windows are a real concern, because the friction of opening and closing the sashes can release lead dust and result in lead poisoning in children.”

 

In some cases, you can strip very old windows and repaint them, but the safest option is to replace them completely. Not only does this remove the problem from your home, but also you won’t endanger yourself or a technician with lead-paint dust.

 

Ready to replace your windows?

If your windows are in bad shape, or you’d like to boost your home’s curb appeal, new windows can dramatically enhance the look of your home and save you money on heating and cooling bills. Learn what new windows can do for your property by contacting Absolute Exteriors to get a free estimate on new windows for your home in Ellisville, Chesterfield, Ballwin, and surrounding areas.

Check out our Windows and Decks section.

Roof Safety Tips For Holiday Decorating

The holidays are here, and for many homeowners, that means installing strings of lights and other decorations on your home. This may be the most wonderful time of the year, but for many homeowners, holiday decorating can lead to accidents. That’s why it’s important to keep these basic decorating safety tips in mind before you head up to your roof.

 

Prep your materials

There’s nothing more frustrating than getting all the way up to the roof and finding out that your lights aren’t working, or even worse, getting zapped from a short in the cord. It’s worth the extra few minutes to check your outlets and power sources, as well as your lights and cords while you are on the ground. Be sure to use extension cords rated specifically for outdoor use.

 

Pick a light/clear time of day

It may be tempting to wait until dusk so you can see the lights all lit up as you go, but don’t. Set aside a good chunk of daytime so you don’t feel rushed and check the weather forecast to make sure there’s no rain, snow, or wind expected. You don’t want to wrestle with an inflatable snowman on a windy day or try to secure a plastic sleigh on an icy rooftop.

 

Clear the roof

A clear and clean roof is important for many reasons, including preventing accidents. No matter how many decorations you want to put on your roof, you should always start by making sure your roof and gutter system is clear of dirt, debris, leaves, and other materials that could present a tripping or slipping hazard.

 

Stay safe on the ladder

Make sure you have a sturdy ladder designed to support your weight. Set up your ladder on a flat, level surface, such as a driveway or walkway, and away from power lines, electrical equipment, and doors that could be opened. Your ladder should be set at a 75-degree angle, extended at least three feet over the roofline or working surface, and you should not stand on the top three rungs of the ladder. Also, consider getting a spotter or helper.

 

Gear up for safety

Wear shoes with a soft rubber sole for extra traction and keep the bottom of your shoes free of mud and dirt. Use a tool belt to carry your tools and decorating essentials. You should never use staples, nails, screws or other penetrating fasteners to attach holiday decorations to your roof. Instead, use removable plastic clips and hooks that won’t put holes in your roof or gutters. There are even magnetic clips and lights that can easily attach and detach from metal gutters and roof eaves.

 

Know your limits

Don’t get on the roof unless you’ve done it before, you’re in great shape, and you have excellent balance. You can always hire someone to do the outdoor decorating for you.

 

Ready to replace your roof?

If you make the trek up to your roof and notice signs of damage, it might be time for a complete replacement. When you are ready for a new roof, contact Absolute Exteriors to get a free estimate on a new roof for your home in Ellisville, Chesterfield, Ballwin, and surrounding areas.

Learn more about residential roofing and find out why winter is the best time to replace your roof.

How To Prepare For A Home Roof Replacement

Getting a brand new roof can be an exciting experience. It also turns your house into a work zone, and work zones are potentially dangerous. However, there are safety precautions and preparations you can make to be ready.

 

Here are some ways you can help make your home roof replacement go as smoothly as possible.

 

Think about kids and pets

Loud noises may increase anxiety or disturb sleep habits. While it may be exciting to watch from a safe distance, work zones are extremely unsafe for children and pets. Talk with your kids to explain that certain areas of the home or yard will be off-limits until the project is complete.

 

Remove wall decorations

The vibrations from hammers and machinery on your roof may travel through some walls of your home, especially if repairs to the roof deck are needed. This could cause knick-knacks to fall off shelves, and pictures, mirrors, or other items hanging on the walls or from the ceiling to fall. Also, as a precaution, you may want to remove decorative light fixtures like chandeliers to play it safe.

 

Cover belongings in the attic

During a roof replacement, numerous installers will be walking on your roof and pounding it with hammers. Dust and small debris will fall in attic spaces during a new roof installation. You can keep personal items cleaner by covering them with old sheets or drop cloths until the roofer is finished. Be prepared to do some light vacuuming in these areas after construction is complete.

 

Relocate your vehicles

Contractors need quick access to their tools and trucks throughout the day. They need a place to load shingles and debris. You’ll want to keep your vehicles a safe distance from this area until work is complete. You should also keep your garage doors closed during construction to keep out dust and debris.

 

Move grills and patio furniture away from the work zone

A shed or garage is the best place to store outside items like grills, patio furniture, lawn ornaments, and potted plants while your new roof is installed. If you don’t have on-site storage, you may want to put these items together in an area of the yard that is a safe distance from the work zone.

 

Prune trees and cut grass before construction begins

Any tree branches that hang low near your roof will need to be trimmed before your contractor can begin work. Your contractor should use drop cloths to protect plants and grass in the immediate perimeter of your home, but you need to cut the grass a day before construction begins. Short grass will help keep fallen debris from hiding in your lawn, making cleanup faster and more thorough.

 

Remove antennas or satellite dishes

If you have any antennas or satellite dishes located on or very near your roof, you’ll want to have them removed. Call your cable or satellite provider to make arrangements before roof work begins.

 

Identify several accessible power outlets

Your roofer will need access to electrical outlets. Exterior outlets are preferred, but if your home does not have any, a garage outlet is the next, best choice. If you don’t have an outlet outside or in a garage, keep in mind that extension cords may need to run through a window or door to get power outside. Extension cords can be a tripping hazard, so choose an outlet in an area that doesn’t get much foot traffic.

 

Talk to your neighbors

Let your neighbors know about the planned work. Give them an anticipated timeframe for the duration. This will give them an opportunity to adjust their schedules and situations so that they can be most comfortable.

 

Be aware of your surroundings during construction

Construction at your home can create unexpected obstacles, like extension cords or other construction equipment that isn’t normally there. Stay extra alert during this time to prevent avoidable injuries. Most importantly, remember that construction is temporary.

 

Ready to replace your roof?

At the end of the day, we want you and your family to stay safe while we replace your roof. When you are ready for a new roof, contact Absolute Exteriors to get a free estimate on a new roof for your home in Ellisville, Chesterfield, Ballwin, and surrounding areas.

 

 

What Happens in a Roof Inspection

To determine if you need repairs or a whole new roof, the first thing a roofer will do is complete an inspection. But what is the roofer looking for? Following is a list of items that experts look for when they inspect your roof.

 

Missing or broken shingles

Asphalt shingles are found on 80% of residential roofs in the United States. As asphalt shingles age, direct sunlight and temperature extremes cause them to become brittle. This can cause them to crack and break; wind can tear pieces or even whole shingles off the roof.

 

Moss, mildew, or mold

Moss, mildew, and mold create ugly patches on your roof. These growths also are damaging to the shingles and underlayment. All three need moisture to thrive, and all three hold that moisture. As moss, mildew, and mold grow, they create raised masses that can hinder water runoff. This causes even more moisture to be trapped on the surface of your roof, which means more moss, mildew, and mold growth. It’s a vicious circle that can destroy your shingles.

 

Ventilation problems

Roof vents help air to flow through attic spaces, moving warm, moist air out while letting cool, dry air in. Poor ventilation allows hot air from inside your home to heat the roof deck, which can make shingles brittle and cause curling. For homes in regions with snow and ice, a poorly vented attic can cause ice dams in gutters. Ice dams can cause moisture to get underneath shingles where it can start to rot the roof deck.

 

Ripples, blisters or buckles

Ripples, blisters, buckles, or physical changes can signal a variety of roof problems, including old shingles, inadequate ventilation, improper installation, damaged sheathing, multiple layers of shingles, and wet underlayment.

Shingles go through a natural aging process where some physical changes may begin to appear (just like wrinkles on our skin). When these changes become obvious from a roof inspection done on the ground, you may need a roof replacement. An old and deteriorating roof means a vulnerable roof deck. A damaged roof deck makes for a very expensive roof replacement.

 

Multiple layers of shingles

If a home has multiple layers of shingles, odds are good that there is roof damage – even if you can’t see it yet. When a roof has more than one layer of shingles, the roof won’t ventilate properly. Heat and moisture can be retained beneath the shingles. In addition, the new shingles can conform to the older shingles beneath them and follow any humps or low spots. As water flows down the roof, this unevenness can create areas of increased friction, which results in premature failure of the new roof over those areas.

 

No drip edge 

Drip edge is a type of flashing at the edges of your roof. Flashing is installed underneath the shingles as a way to protect the wooden fascia from water runoff or wind-driven rain. A roof without drip edge, or with improperly installed drip edge, may have rotten or rotting fascia because of penetrating water. If shingles at the edges of the roof are starting to curl, it could be due to moisture.

 

Interior leaks

If there are visible leaks inside your home, then roof repair or replacement is critical. An interior leak means that water has penetrated all roofing materials, and you can be sure that there is damage to the shingles and possibly the existing decking. When a roof leak is not repaired, water has the opportunity to damage joists and trusses, meaning costly repairs in addition to the cost of a roof replacement.

 

Action after the roof inspection

If you’ve noticed problems with any of these factors but haven’t called a roofer for a more detailed evaluation, it’s time to pick up the phone. Severely aged roofs often show more than one of these symptoms, and the clock may be ticking on the life of your roof deck.

 

Ready to replace your roof?

When you are ready for a new roof, contact Absolute Exteriors to get a free estimate on a new roof for your home in Ellisville, Chesterfield, Ballwin, and surrounding areas.

Also see how you can perform an interior roof check.

Roofing Terms Made Simple

Are you in the market for a new roof? Unless you’re in the roofing business, prepare to hear a lot of unfamiliar roofing terms. Understanding these terms before you jump into a conversation with a contractor will make you feel a lot better when you decide to sign that contract. Below is an introduction to common roofing terms.

 

Roofing Styles

 By knowing what type of roof you have, you will be able to understand your roofer’s recommendations and the re-roofing process that best suits your home.

A gable roof has two sloping sides and a gable at each end. A gable is the triangular portion of a wall between the edges of intersecting roof pitches.

A hip roof is a type where all sides slope downwards to the walls, usually with a fairly gentle slope. It has no gables or other vertical sides to the roof.

A shed roof refers to a roof that slopes in a single direction and has no hips, ridges, or valleys.

Hip and gable are the two most common roof styles. Some roofs have just one of these styles, while others have several different style elements combined.

 

Parts of a Roof

Decking is the foundation of your roof. The deck is the base that rests against the rafters of your attic to support the weight of the roofing materials. Most decking is made from plywood. 

Eaves are the edges of the roof that hang over the exterior walls of the house.

Gutters are placed at the edges of eaves. 

Soffits are the underside of eaves.

Ridges are the highest points on the roof where two rooflines intersect. Special shingles are used at roof ridges. Ridge vents should be installed at ridges to allow hot air to escape attic spaces.

Valleys are the low angles formed at the intersection of two sloping roof surfaces. They are one of the first places where water will penetrate in a failing roof. Your roofing contractor will probably recommend installing special underlayment and flashing materials that you won’t see on other parts of the roof.

Ventilation is critical to the longevity of your roof. Ventilation is the flow of air through your attic space. This airflow allows moist, hot air to escape, keeping your roof deck cooler and your home more comfortable.

 

Roofing Materials

Underlayment is the base layer of your roof that can be found between the roof deck and the shingles. Made of asphalt and a fibrous mat (usually fiberglass or felt), underlayment can be waterproof or water-resistant, depending on the type and quality.

Shingles are the visible roofing material that is your home’s first line of defense against the elements. Shingles block UV rays from the sun and prevent water from leaking into your home.

There are many different types of shingle materials, including metal, tile, and slate.

Flashing is a corrosion-resistant metal strip that is installed at roof edges and seams. It prevents the seepage of water around any intersection or projection in a roof system, such as vent pipes, chimneys, valleys, and joints.

 

Ready to replace your roof?

When you are ready for a new roof, contact Absolute Exteriors to get a free estimate on a new roof for your home in Ellisville, Chesterfield, Ballwin, and surrounding areas.

Learn more about the best roofing materials for your home.

How Long Does Siding On A House Last?

Think of new siding like a facelift for your house. It completely freshens up the exterior of your home, and you want to make sure that investment lasts a really long time.

The good news is: when properly installed and regularly maintained, new siding on a home can last for decades. There are, however, factors that affect the longevity of the siding on your house.

 

Installation

When it comes to siding, proper installation is everything. Even the best siding will not perform correctly if the installation is subpar. That’s why it’s critical to work with the right contractor from the beginning. When you go with a team of siding professionals who have the required experience, certifications, licenses, and insurance, you can trust that your new siding was installed correctly and will perform properly.

 

Materials

Wood is the most demanding, high-maintenance siding material, while aluminum siding tends to show nicks and dings easily and fades over time. Vinyl siding is the most popular and versatile option, and withstands a variety of weather conditions. High-quality, durable, insulated vinyl siding has a longer life span, requires minimal maintenance, and offers excellent performance.

 

Weather/storm damage

Hot, sunny summers, freeze-thaw cycles in winter, thunder, wind, and hail in the spring, and severe storms in the fall make your home’s siding susceptible to year-round weather attacks that can leave any siding material damaged over the long term. Inspect your siding regularly and handle repairs quickly to avoid further damage.

 

Climate

Where you live can affect the overall performance of your siding. The climate of your city will play a big factor in which kind of siding you should choose for your home. Insulated vinyl is a great choice for areas around St. Louis, because it performs well in the heat and cold and protects against rain, wind, and snow.

 

Maintenance

Choosing a siding that is low-maintenance can extend the life of your siding and give you the best value for your money. Vinyl siding can go months without needing to be cleaned. To extend its life span even further, power wash your vinyl siding before or after summer.

Maintenance extends beyond your siding. It’s also important to check your gutters regularly. Clogged gutters can cause rainwater to spill over the sides of the house and can lead to water damage on the siding. Over time, water can penetrate any cracks in the siding, causing significant deterioration to your home.

 

Ready to replace your siding?

The longevity of your siding depends on many factors, including how it was installed and the quality of the products. Contact Absolute Exteriors to get a free estimate on siding replacement for your home in Ellisville, Chesterfield, Ballwin, and surrounding areas.

Learn more about Absolute Exteriors’ siding options.